Monday, November 30, 2015

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore

What They Say....The Hawthorne family has it all. Great jobs, a beautiful house in one of the most affluent areas of northern California, and three charming kids with perfectly straight teeth. And then comes their eldest daughter's senior year of high school . . .
Firstborn Angela Hawthorne is a straight-A student and star athlete, with extracurricular activities coming out of her ears and a college application that's not going to write itself. She's set her sights on Harvard, her father's alma mater, and like a dog with a chew toy, Angela won't let up until she's basking in crimson-colored glory. Except her class rank as valedictorian is under attack, she's suddenly losing her edge at cross-country, and she can't help but daydream about the cute baseball player in English class. Of course Angela knows the time put into her schoolgirl crush would be better spent coming up with a subject for her term paper—which, along with her college essay and community service hours has a rapidly approaching deadline. 
Angela's mother, Nora, is similarly stretched to the limit, juggling parent-teacher meetings, carpool, and a real-estate career where she caters to the mega rich and super-picky buyers and sellers of the Bay Area. The youngest daughter, Maya, still can't read at the age of eight; the middle-child, Cecily, is no longer the happy-go-lucky kid she once was; and the dad, Gabe, seems oblivious to the mounting pressures at home because a devastating secret of his own might be exposed. A few ill-advised moves put the Hawthorne family on a heedless collision course that's equal parts achingly real and delightfully screwball.
Sharp and topical, The Admissions shows that if you pull at a loose thread, even the sturdiest of lives start to unravel at the seams of high achievement.

What I Say....My youngest just turned 18, so in some ways I feel like this book illustrates how different raising kids has gotten even from 5-10 years ago.  It's crazy the amount of pressure that we put on kids to achieve, perform, pick one sport, and the how personally some parents take it if their child is having trouble in any area, whether it's academic, sports or friends.

The Hawthorne family is probably that family that we all know via Facebook work or a friend of a friend.  They seem to have it all, high paying jobs, beautiful house, perfect kids.  But the reality of what it takes to get them (and keep them) there isn't hidden too far below.   

Every member of the family (except Maya) seems to be harboring some secret that they can't even share with each other.  Even in their own family, the pressure to be perfect keeps them all awake at night, prowling the house, taking Adderall, or hiking mountains in their office clothes.  

The pressure keeps mounting for all of them.....who will crack......and will it be fatal?

The book was a quick read and would probably be a great book club book, it might force people to take a closer look at what kind of pressure they are placing on their own families to maintain a perfect appearance for outsiders.

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